The Bridge - Issue 2, 2021 - 8

Chapter News
Toy Adapt-a-thon Uses Basic Circuit Knowledge
to Create Holiday Joy
Submitted by Jerika Cleveland, Chapter President
Gamma Tau Chapter, North Dakota State University
In the final months of 2020, members of the Gamma
Tau Chapter at North Dakota State University became
elves who hack as they worked with the university's
Disability Services department to modify electronic
toys for children with special needs.
The Chapter's first ever Toy Adapt-a-thon, where
engineers created audio jack connections in parallel
to the buttons on toys, enabled children with motor
disabilities to play like all kids do-by pressing a button.
Cleveland said the adaptions are based on basic
circuit knowledge: putting an aux plug in parallel to
the button on the toy. The aux plug allows for a bigger,
more accessible button to be attached to the toy that
is activated by children with their fist, elbows, head,
knees, or feet.
These toys were modified as part of the program
(From left to right) Jerika Cleveland, Henry Wolf, Armin Ekic
With this modification, the expensive buttons, which
cost US $60 to US $100 each, can be removed from
one toy and used with multiple toys, saving families
money by being able to use fewer buttons.
The Chapter also adapted the toys for free (with
the audio jack, heat shrink, and wiring costing about
US $2.50). The price of a single adapted toy can
increase by US $30 to US $50 when purchased
through companies.
" The Toy-Adaptation is becoming the highlight of
HKN- Gamma Tau Chapter's fall semester, " said
Chapter President Jerika Cleveland, a Ph.D. student,
who led the Chapter's efforts. " Seeing electrical and
computer engineering students, who have finals to
study for and projects to finish, come together to
adapt toys brings a bit of cheer to the group and
department. Walking a dinosaur down the hallways
always gets a laugh out of fellow students. "
Disability services and teachers who work with
disabled children are grateful for the adaptions,
Cleveland said: " Making the toys activate with the
accessible buttons allows the children to learn how
to interact with the world. As the children get older,
the big buttons will help the children interact with
computers and assistant devices. This may provide
independence and a voice to them as they grow up,
so learning how to use the buttons early is important. "
If you would like to learn more or start your own toy
adaption program, contact Jerika Cleveland.
To see one of the toys at work, go to
https://youtu.be/pl6YsqdH-08.
THE BRIDGE
https://stemportal-tryengineering.ieee.org/programs/detail/26b565b7-0d95-4d26-be87-82b2e105485f https://www.tryengineering.org/ https://www.facebook.com/mubetakidzineers https://www.instagram.com/mubetakidzineers/ https://grad.tufts.edu/engineering-masters/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl6YsqdH-08 https://hkn.ieee.org/ https://hkn.ieee.org/

The Bridge - Issue 2, 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Bridge - Issue 2, 2021

Contents
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2021 - Cover1
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2021 - Cover2
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2021 - Contents
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2021 - 4
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2021 - 5
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The Bridge - Issue 2, 2021 - Cover3
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2021 - Cover4
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